Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · RFD Boys
. . . .

RFD Boys

Rick Coates - August 1st, 2011
With another successful Traverse City Film Festival now in the rearview
mirror, movie enthusiasts will look to the Frankfort Film Festival at the
end of October to get their film fix. The Third Annual Frankfort Film
Festival will take place at the recently renovated Garden Theater which
has been offering first-run films in Frankfort for the first time in
years.
While extensive theater renovations took place a few years ago, there are
additional restoration projects in the works. This Thursday (August 4) the
theater will host the The RFD Boys for a special benefit concert. This
legendary bluegrass group from Ann Arbor will take the stage at 8 p.m.
with proceeds going to help fund ongoing restoration efforts.  
“We have been very fortunate as members of the community have donated
valuable time and resources that have have resulted in several updates,
including the installation of new seats, a new heating and cooling system,
upgraded Dolby digital sound and the art deco tile restoration,” said
co-owner Rick Schmitt. “We are committing the funds from this concert to
upgrading the sound system even further.”

A GOOD RUN
Schmitt, a Frankfort resident and a longtime executive with Crystal
Mountain Resort & Spa, purchased the Garden Theater with his wife Jennie
and friends Blake and Marci Brooks in 2007. 
“Since opening two years ago we have successfully shown several first run
films along with independent and foreign films,” said Schmitt. “We also
have made the Garden available for private and corporate events, charity
fundraisers, wedding receptions and other events. The reception has been
so positive that we now are able to keep the theater open year round.” 
Originally built in 1923, The Garden Theater had been closed for several
years, but with the re-opening of abandoned movie houses in downtowns
becoming a popular trend, Schmitt felt it would be good for Frankfort to
revive the Garden Theater. 
“Some might think we got the idea based on what we saw happening in
Traverse City with the renovation of the State Theatre,” said Schmitt.
“But we actually started this process before they did.”
This Thursday, The Garden Theater will turn off the projectors as the RFD
Boys will take the stage. 
“These guys have been together for over 40 years and they are hailed the
bluegrass house band for the State of Michigan,” said Schmitt. “In the
last three decades they’ve shared stages with a who’s who of bluegrass and
country musicians from Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley to Ricky Skaggs and
Randy Travis, so we are excited to have them.”

BACK IN ’69
The RFD Boys played their first concert together in October 1969 while
still U-M students. Bluegrass was just starting to spread across the
country to younger listeners in those days. 
After 42 years, guitarist and lead singer Charlie Roehrig along with Paul
Shapiro on bass and high harmonies, fiddler Dick Dieterle, and Will
Spencer on banjo and dobro still find an audience for their music as they
travel throughout the country and Europe. They squeeze gigs in between
their day jobs.
“It seems just like yesterday when we had our first gig, but it was back
in1969, and none of us really had much playing on the stage experience,”
said Charlie Roehrig. “If someone would have told us way back then that
we’d still be together 40 years later, I would have never believed it.”
The reopening of the Garden Theater has had a positive impact in Frankfort
and Benzie County as a whole by attracting year round visitors. Add in the
recent opening of the Crystal Lake Art Center on Betsie Bay in the former
Coast Guard building and Frankfort has expanded its year-round cultural
offerings.
“What we are saying to people is that Frankfort is not only a great place
to visit but also to live, work and go to school,” said Schmitt. “That is
why so many people have gotten behind the Garden Theater and the Art
Center. We have great shops, restaurants and plenty of outdoor offerings
as well. We expect the addition of these cultural offerings to be further
attractions for people to relocate here.”

The Garden Theater is located at 301 W. Main Street in Frankfort.  Tickets
for the benefit performance are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 
Tickets are available in Frankfort at The Garden Theater, Corner Drug,
Frankfort Bookstore or the East Shore Market in Beulah.  For info and to
purchase tickets on-line visit the website www.frankfortgardentheater.com.
 
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